For some people it is a desire to try something new which leads them to bondage, for others the interest goes much further back, perhaps to teenage fantasies of being bound and ravished or to comic book characters. Whatever the motivation, there is an option to suit every person’s interest and budget.
My advice for choosing restraints is simple:
Listen to your gut instinct. Which materials get your heart beating faster? Which restraints can you imagine yourself using?
Don’t run before you can walk. When starting out with bondage it can be tempting to dive right in, but there are very good reasons to take your time (most importantly, safety).
I’m going to cover a few of the main types of restraints but there are many other options available, some of which will be suitable for beginners and some may be best left until you become more experienced.
Fluffy handcuffs often spring to mind when I think of beginners bondage. They may be a little cliched but they are an unintimidating and popular introductory item. The wide availability and low price makes them a good choice for people who aren’t sure if they are really interested in bondage, but for those who are quite sure they are, it is probably worth spending a little more and either going for more robust metal handcuffs or a different type of restraint.
Positives: Cheap, unintimidating, and widely available both online and on the high street. You can laugh them off as a “joke” if anyone sees them. Many come with an emergency release so you don’t need to worry about losing the keys Negatives: Often poorly constructed and rarely particularly comfortable. The emergency release is easily accidentally knocked during play. Who should buy these: People who want to keep things fun and light. People who don’t intend to struggle against their restraints.
I’m a little biased because my first ever kinky purchase was a pair of leather cuffs from Honour in Waterloo (similar to these). Over eight years later they are still serving me well. I definitely recommend them to beginners but I would also say they are a very good investment for people at every level.
Positives: Robust and durable. Widely available online and in specialist sex and fetish shops. Versatile and easy to combine with other bondage items using carabiner clips. Generally comfortable, and suitable for extended wear. The smell of leather is a turn on for some people, but if you hate leather or are veggie, there are non-leather alternatives. Negatives: Not as cheap as some of the other options. Who should buy these: People who like the leather and metal aesthetic. People who want to struggle against their restraints. Anyone who thinks their interest in bondage is more than a fleeting thing.
Rope plays into many people’s fantasies that were formed reading comics and watching old films. The many different types of rope offer a variety of different sensations and it is a wonderfully sensual experience to be tied up. I definitely don’t want to discourage people from using rope but I do want people to understand that rope bondage carries risks and, if it is something you are serious about doing, it is important that you learn as much as you can so you can have fun safely.
There are, however, ways for beginners to try rope. I would recommend rope cuffs such as these if you want to get started immediately. Alternatively, invest in a couple of good books and get practising those knots!
Positives: No need to learn knots, comfortable, strong, and durable. Negatives: Easy to get out of, not very versatile. Who should buy these: People who fantasise about being tied up and who like the feeling of rope.